Alaskero Memories

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Alaskero Memories
, Robert Flor’s autobiographical poetry carries us on his summer journeys laboring on a Filipino crew in a salmon cannery during the 1960s. Through his writing, we come to know men and women, living and working in a small, fishing town on the Aleutian Peninsula, as a lens peering into American society.


Oscar Peñaranda, Poet, Novelist, Educator
I love the sense of immediacy and at-the-moment, jazz-like renderings of
Alaskero’s “life in the trenches,” replete with unforgettable and raw details of Alaskan Cannery life. I like the un-victimized portrayals of our Manongs, which is what they were, primarily heroes, not victims.

Michelle Peñaloza, Poet, Hugo House Instructor & Jack Straw Writer
Robert Flor’s Alaskero Memories ruminates with tenderness and attention to detail. It‘s a window into the history of Filipino immigrant men whose work took them their “summer hiatus from asparagus fields and almond orchards” to the salmon canning factories of Alaska. Flor’s poems explore the body’s labor and render complex and loving portraits of these men toiling so far from home.

Roberto Ascalon, Poet, Teaching Artist for YouthSpeaks & Arts Corps
As a freshman in college, I dreamt of spending summers in Alaska and the supposed fortunes to be made working the salmon season. I had yet to realize that cannery life goes straight to heart of the Filipino American story. Being an Alaskero demands us all to become poets — to find celebratory metaphors of culture amidst the sweat and slime of hard labor. In this way
Alaskero Memories works beautifully in the Bulosanian tradition and offers the next generation of Filipino Americans a way to see ourselves in the context of the grand American narrative.

Dorothy Cordova, Executive Director, Filipino American National Historical Society, Seattle
Many young American-born Pinoys earned money for college by working the Alaska canneries. They learned to work efficiently and to appreciate their Filipino heritage. Bob’s poetry is not only about his summers in Alaska but a beautiful tribute to the Filipino Manongs who treated him like a surrogate son. His book shares his memories and is testament to life lessons learned during those times.


Artist Trust graciously provided funding through
a GAP grant to make
Alaskero Memories possible.
Proceeds from sale of the chapbook
support a scholarship fund for
Filipino American artists and writers
at Artist Trust.

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